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Clearwater Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

HALIFAX , Aug. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - (CLR.TO):

  • Second quarter sales and adjusted EBITDA1 were $153.9 million and $30.3 million respectively versus $148.1 million and $30.5 million respectively in the prior year.
  • Year-to-date sales and adjusted EBITDA were $274.0 million and $50.3 million respectively compared to $268.2 million and $49.6 million in the prior year.
  • Gross margin as a percentage of sales expanded to 19.4% in the first half of 2019 compared to 17.5% in the prior year.
  • The Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.05 per share payable on September 3, 2019 to shareholders of record as of August 19, 2019 .

Second Quarter Results

Sales for second quarter and year-to-date 2019 grew 4% and 2% respectively, as compared to the same periods of 2018.  Strong harvest conditions, landings and available supply in scallops, crab and langoustines were partially offset by competitive market conditions across scallop species and FAS shrimp.  Timing of FAS shrimp and turbot landings had a favourable impact on second quarter sales.  Scallop prices remained consistent with the fourth quarter of 2018.

Adjusted EBITDA for second quarter and year-to-date 2019 was $30.3 million and $50.3 million respectively, as compared to $30.5 million and $49.6 million in 2018. Gross margin as a percentage of sales increased in the second quarter and year-to-date 2019 due to strong harvest conditions and favourable mix in scallops.  Steady market demand for lobster was partially offset by lower selling prices, consistent with seasonal expectations. Overall, access to supply and customer demand in other procured species remained strong as compared to the prior year.

Sales growth continued in Asia representing 43% of year-to-date sales as compared to 39% in the same period of 2018 following the expansion of distribution channels.

Average foreign exchange rates realized on sales for the second quarter and year-to-date 2019 had a net positive impact to sales of $0.9 million and $2.1 million respectively, as compared to the same periods of the prior year. 

Cash used in operations and free cash outflows were $35 .6 million and $48.0 million , respectively, in the second quarter of 2019 versus $5.4 million and $16.0 million in the prior year reflecting strong harvest conditions and increased access to supply of procured species.

Debt and Leverage

Leverage for second quarter 2019 was 5.2x compared to 5.1x for the same period of 2018.  Leverage increased slightly as compared to the second quarter of 2018 as adjusted EBITDA attributable to shareholders decreased modestly and net debt increased due to higher inventory following strong fishing conditions across all species.

Consistent with the seasonality of the business, we expect leverage to be higher during harvesting peaks before decreasing by the end of the year.

Dividends

On August 7 , 2019, the Board of Directors approved and declared a dividend of $0.05 per share payable on September 3, 2019 to shareholders of record as of August 19, 2019 .

The Board reviews Clearwater's dividends on a regular basis to ensure the dividend level remains consistent with Clearwater's dividend policy.

These dividends are eligible dividends as defined for the purposes of the Income Tax Act ( Canada ) and applicable provincial legislation and therefore, qualify for the favourable tax treatment applicable to such dividends.

Seasonality

Clearwater's business experiences a predictable seasonal pattern in which sales, margins and adjusted EBITDA are lower in the first half of the year and higher in the second half.  Investments in capital expenditures and working capital are typically higher in the first half of the year and lower in the second half. This normally results in lower cash flows, higher debt balances and higher leverage in the first half of the year and higher cash flows, lower debt balances and lower leverage in the second half. 

OUTLOOK

For the second half of 2019, we expect top and bottom-line growth across multiple species and regions, led by Asia-Pacific.  Growth will be driven by the strong harvest conditions and improved access to supply for procured species experienced in the first half of the year along with continued margin expansion. 

Strong harvest conditions and improved access to supply for procured species enabled investment in high quality inventory in the first half of the year.  In the second half of 2019, this inventory will fuel expansion into new markets and distribution channels, along with new product offerings, like sea cucumber, cockle clams, whelk, and a full year offering of live crab.  

In June 2019 , Clearwater successfully entered the Canadian Sea Cucumber Fishery. Sea Cucumber is a traditional staple in the diets of many Asian consumers with Canadian Sea Cucumber recognized for its taste, texture, sustainability, traceability and food safety. In entering this fishery, Clearwater has leveraged its industry-leading and well-established sales capability, extensive distribution network, geographic proximity to the resource and technical expertise in value-added processing. Canadian Sea Cucumber is an abundant resource and we expect this new species to provide an attractive source of long-term incremental sales and profit.

Clearwater has access to the full clam total allowable catch for 2019.  In the first half of 2019, Clearwater entered into a voluntary agreement forging a 50-year partnership with fourteen Indigenous communities providing long-term stable access to the arctic surf clam resource.  Clearwater will continue to advance working relationships with Indigenous partners.

Clearwater's core fisheries are managed for long-term sustainability. We have taken and will continue to pursue timely and carefully considered measures in response to near-term challenges including; adjustments to harvest plans, pricing and distribution strategies, technology innovation and cost and working capital reductions. These measures will generate strong cash flows from operations, reduce debt and leverage, yield a higher return on assets and generate positive returns to shareholder value.

Global demand for seafood is being driven by a growing worldwide population, shifting consumer tastes towards healthier diets, and rising purchasing power of middle-class consumers in emerging economies. The supply of wild seafood is limited and is expected to continue to lag behind the growing global demand.  This supply-demand imbalance has created a marketplace in which purchasers of seafood are increasingly willing to pay a premium to suppliers that can provide consistent quality and food safety, wide diversity and reliable delivery of premium, wild, sustainably harvested seafood.

Clearwater is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity with its proprietary licences, premium product quality, diversity of species, global sales footprint and year-round harvest and delivery capability.

Core Strategies

Expanding Access to Supply - Expanding access to supply of core species and other complementary, high demand, premium, wild and sustainably-harvested seafood through improved utilization and productivity of core licences as well as acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures and commercial agreements.

Target Profitable and Growing Markets, Channels and Customers - Clearwater targets growing markets, consumers, channels and customers on the basis of size, profitability, demand for eco-label seafood and ability to win. Our focus is to win in key channels and with customers that are winning with consumers.

Innovate and Position Products to Deliver Superior Customer Satisfaction and Value - We continue to work with customers on new products and formats as we innovate and position our premium seafood to deliver superior satisfaction and value that is differentiated by relevant dimensions such as taste, quality, safety, sustainability, wellness, convenience and fair labour practices.

Increase Margins by Improving Price Realization and Cost Management - Leverage the scarcity of seafood supply and increasing global demand, in addition to continuing to invest in, innovate and adopt state-of-the-art technology, systems and processes.

Pursue and Preserve the Long-Term Sustainability of Resources on Land and Sea - As a leading global supplier of wild-harvested seafood, sustainability remains at the core of our business and our mission. Investing in the long-term health and the responsible harvesting of the oceans and its bounty is every harvester's responsibility and the only proven way to ensure access to a reliable, stable, renewable and long-term supply of seafood. Sustainability is not just good business, like innovation it's in our DNA.

Build Organizational Capability, Capacity and Engagement - We attract, train and retain the best talent to build business system and process excellence company-wide.

For those readers who would like to understand the calculation of adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings attributable to shareholders please refer to the reconciliation of adjusted earnings within the non-IFRS measures, definitions and reconciliations section of the Management Discussion and Analysis.

 

Key Performance Indicators and Financial Measures





13 weeks ended

26 weeks ended

In 000's of Canadian dollars


June 29

2019


June 30

2018


June 29

2019


June 30

2018

Profitability









Sales

$

153,874

$

148,142

$

273,957

$

268,214

Sales growth


3.9%


(4.0%)


2.1%


(5.1%)










Gross margin

$

31,587

$

28,605

$

53,138

$

47,065

Gross margin (as a % of sales)


20.5%


19.3%


19.4%


17.5%










Adjusted EBITDA1,2

$

30,250

$

30,501

$

50,283

$

49,615

Adjusted EBITDA1,2 (as a % of sales)


19.7%


20.6%


18.4%


18.5%

Adjusted EBITDA attributable to shareholders1,2

$

26,254

$

26,147

$

42,549

$

41,080

Adjusted EBITDA attributable to shareholders1,2 (as a % of sales)


17.1%


17.6%


15.5%


15.3%










Earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders

$

8,011

$

(923)

$

16,289

$

(14,681)

Basic earnings (loss) per share

$

0.12

$

(0.01)

$

0.25

$

(0.23)

Diluted earnings (loss) per share

$

0.12

$

(0.01)

$

0.25

$

(0.23)










Adjusted earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders1,2

$

6,089

$

6,980

$

5,055

$

7,324

Adjusted earnings (loss) per share

$

0.09

$

0.11

$

0.08

$

0.11










Cash Flows and Leverage

Cash from (used in) operating activities

$

(35,632)

$

(5,426)

$

(23,318)

$

9,404

Cash from (used in) financing activities


26,640


3,979


20,777


(4,602)

Cash from (used in) investing activities


(7,473)


(7,961)


(13,435)


(13,767)

Free cash flows1

$

(48,019)

$

(15,952)

$

(43,402)

$

(6,324)










Leverage1,3


5.2x


5.1x


5.2x


5.1x










Returns









Return on assets1,4


8.0%


8.2%


8.0%


8.2%

Total assets


750,037


769,909


750,037


769,909



1

Refer to discussion on non-IFRS measures, definitions and reconciliations within the Management Discussion and Analysis.

2

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

3

Leverage is calculated as twelve month rolling adjusted EBITDA attributable to shareholders to net debt and differs from the calculation of leverage for covenant purposes.  Net debt at June 29, 2019 includes lease liabilities of $7.0 million recognized upon transition to IFRS 16, effective January 1, 2019.

4

Return on assets is calculated as twelve months rolling adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to total average quarterly assets.

 

Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis Documents

For a detailed analysis of Clearwater's 2019 second quarter results please see Clearwater's  Second Quarter Report for 2019, which includes Management's Discussion and Analysis and the related financial statements.  These documents can be found in the disclosure documents filed by the Corporation with the securities regulatory authorities available at www.sedar.com or on Clearwater's website at www.clearwater.ca.

COMMENTARY REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release contains "forward-looking information" as defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation, including but not limited to, statements regarding future plans and objectives of Clearwater.  Forward-looking information typically, but not always, contains statements with words such as "anticipate", "does not anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "forecast", "intend", "expect", "does not expect", "may", "will", "should", "plan", or other similar terms that are predictive in nature.

Forward-looking information is based on a number of factors and assumptions which have been used to develop such information, but which may prove to be incorrect due to various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors outside of managements' control. Examples may include, but are not limited to, total allowable catch levels, resource supply, selling prices, weather, exchange rates, fuel and other input costs.  There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information.

For additional information with respect to risk factors applicable to Clearwater , reference should be made to Clearwater's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with securities regulators, including, but not limited to, Clearwater's Annual Information Form. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date of this release and Clearwater does not undertake to update publicly or revise the forward-looking information contained in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

About Clearwater

Clearwater is one of North America's largest vertically integrated seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses and quotas in Canada . It is recognized globally for its superior quality, food safety, diversity of species and reliable worldwide delivery of premium wild, eco-certified seafood, including scallops, lobster, clam, coldwater shrimp, langoustine, whelk, crab and groundfish.

Since its founding in 1976, Clearwater has invested in science, people and technological innovation as well as resource ownership and management to sustain and grow its seafood resource. This commitment has allowed it to remain a leader in the global seafood market and in sustainable seafood excellence.

 

SOURCE Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated


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